Tag Archives: restaurants

The Getaway to San Diego

17 Sep

San Diego in the early summer is the purest definition of decompressing I can think of. Astonishingly beautiful weather, tranquility, exceptional dining, and genuine friendship as my company, made for a much-needed reprieve from everyday life. I was trying to get away for my own peace of mind and to be a support and provide a pep talk.

He is a best friend, really. He has encouraged and supported my every move and has been a part of my every success and failure for more than 20 years. I don’t know if I would have accomplished as much if it weren’t for him, allowing himself to be used as a sounding board.

Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand Restaurant 2019

Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand Restaurant 2019

Fresh off the flight and headed directly to dinner at Juniper and Ivy, a San Diego Magazine Best Restaurant Award winner for the past five (5) years and a 2019 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand Restaurant. It was quintessential San Diego upscale casual dining serving an ever-evolving menu, which means what is offered tonight might not be available tomorrow or ever again. A refreshing way to dine. 

As stated on the website, Juniper and Ivy is “Founded by Owner Michael Rosen and Top Chef All-Star, Richard Blais, with Executive Chef, Anthony Wells,” making for a great dining experience that evening. 

Juniper and Ivy menu

Juniper and Ivy menu

Small plates are lovely when you want to try multiple dishes without having to eat off the plates of others. There is a tact factor that is missed when reaching across the table and stabbing your fork into someone else’s food. We ordered and let the server bring it out at will. The yellowtail with shark sauce and tostada was delicate, as was the tuna crudo, The spot prawns were so good I had two plates. The shishito peppers were underwhelming and greasy and the BBQ Carrots were nothing to brag about; still, that did not ruin the experience. The food was creative and fun. I didn’t taste the sea urchin, mainly because I hate the texture of sea urchin, plus I have an allergy to the oil in the rind of any type of orange citrus fruit, and the dish is made with a tangerine.

Tuna Crudo ~ Rocky Sweet Melon, White Soy Ponzu, Purple Basil

Tuna Crudo ~ Rocky Sweet Melon, White Soy Ponzu, Purple Basil

Sea Urchin ~ Hibiscus Aguachile, Tangerine, Red Onion, Mojito Snow

Sea Urchin ~ Hibiscus Aguachile, Tangerine, Red Onion, Mojito Snow

Spot Prawns ~ Corn and Old Bay Butter, Lemon, Chives

Spot Prawns ~ Corn and Old Bay Butter, Lemon, Chives

Obviously a favorite. I had two.

Obviously a favorite. I had two.

BBQ Carrots ~ Mint Yogurt, Golden Raisins, Pickled Carrots, SoCal Za'atar

BBQ Carrots ~ Mint Yogurt, Golden Raisins, Pickled Carrots, SoCal Za’atar

What I like most is the seasonal progressive menu. What is served one night might not be offered the next, as so graciously provided by the friendly women seated at the table next to us celebrating a birthday. Meeting people and sharing dessert is easy since the seating for two is incredibly close together. Another intimate experience, having menus from the section above drop on your head, as I watched it happen several times to my new friend (a glass partition would fix that problem), good thing we were all in a celebratory mood or that could have ruined the vibe. Instead, we laughed it off.

Birthday Girl

Birthday Girl

Surprise Birthday Fudgesicle

Surprise Birthday Fudgesicle

 Coconut Cake ~ Macadamia Nut Brittle, Freeze Dried Pineapple, Frozen Lime Cream

Coconut Cake ~ Macadamia Nut Brittle, Freeze Dried Pineapple,
Frozen Lime Cream

The fudgesicle was divine and the coconut cake – super sweet and required an entire presentation to melt the white chocolate. Unfortunately, my video will not load. Trust me, it was impressive.The fudgesicle was diving and the coconut cake – super sweet and required an entire presentation to melt the white chocolate. Unfortunately, my video will no load. Trust me it was impressive.

Juniper and Ivy Fine Dining
2228 Kettner Boulevard
San Diego, California 92101

Filet and Lobster

27 Feb

steak-lobsterIt’s the little things that make life exciting, like the Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar filet mignon and North Atlantic lobster tail combination back for spring until April 7. I’m thrilled because lobster with drawn butter is my mother’s favorite (I’ll be taking her soon) and this savory combo, at only $37.95 (excluding tax and gratuity), comes with a choice of the wedge salad or French onion soup to start, and sautéed spaghetti squash with lime butter with entrée. Simply add wine and dessert.

This treat is only available at all locations and upon request and I suggest a reservation, however eating in the bar is fun too!

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar
8721 West Charleston Boulevard (Summerlin)
Las Vegas, NV 89117


Eat. Breakfast & Lunch Joint by Chef Natalie Young

4 Dec

Adrienne and Chef Natalie Young

Me & Chef Natalie Young

The first time I heard of Eat. was about one month ago on a call with Cedric Crear when he mentioned having a great breakfast. Not understanding what he had said, I asked, “Where did you go?” and he replied “Eat.” I said, “Yes, you ate breakfast… where?” ‘Eat. I ate at Eat Downtown.”

Oooohhhh! Duh. I am usually on top of new things in Vegas, but I missed this one. The second time I heard of Chef Natalie’s new restaurant was on my Facebook feed when Gina Gavin posted “A hearty breakfast at EAT this morning. It was good! Thank you Chef Natalie for bringing a great breakfast & lunch joint to the hood.” I had to try this place.


The women of Alpha Kappa Alpha Theta Theta Omega Las Vegas Chapter

The morning started with my mother at our sorority’s (Alpha Kappa Alpha) Emerging Young Leaders presentation at the 100 Academy of Excellence then across the street to the “Get Out the Vote” rally at the William U. Pearson Community Center with the intentions of voting early until we saw the long line (I didn’t vote until the final day of early voting at Albertsons grocery store which was unusual for me since I’ve always voted on day one of early voting. I even got a Civic Duty badge from Foursquare when I checked in.) 

Chef-Natalie-Young-by-the-kitchenAfter our sorority meeting I remembered my conversation with Cedric and headed downtown to 7th and Carson. Because it was a Saturday and the restaurant closes at 2 p.m. on weekends, we only had an hour of which I waste a good 15 minutes trying to find the place  neatly tucked away in an old apartment building. I kept driving past the entrance not realizing it was on the corner where the people were standing out front (duh.)


I parked across the street and luckily found a meter with an hour left. My mom and I lucked out that day because it was not too busy with plenty of seating when we arrived. I have to say I loved the interior and since it was not packed yet, Chef Natalie was able to sit and chat for a good while about the interior.

Eat-interior-2She designed the space herself and cleverly used reclaimed wood from shipping palettes to add texture to the wall under the counter at the kitchen and the emergency exit. She chose a summery green for her banquettes to coincide with bright orange chairs  made from a recycled material as well and black and white art on the walls. All art is from local artists, the very spirit of Downtown. Eat interior 3 with arrow

Chef Natalie told us artist Krystal Ramirez spent an entire day hand painting the mural “I’ll See You In The Flowers”  on the wall which reminds her  of her mother. It complements the open duct ceiling painted black. It’s cozy and comfortable. A place where you get lost in conversation with friends.

Shrimp & Grits with Bacon and Two Fried Eggs

Shrimp & Grits with Bacon and Two Fried Eggs

When James and I dine we make it a point not to order the same dish so we can sample the others plate for variety. Not my mother. No matter how much I tried to talk her into not having the shrimp and grits with bacon and two fried eggs it fell on deaf ears. We had the same meal down to the glass of water and cup of coffee which was really good and not surprising, the Sumatra from Colorado River Roasters. It was creamy and light. I ate the entire bowl. My mother said, “Usually grits are heavy and loaded with cheese and butter and make you want to take a nap.”  To which I responded, “That’s the difference between a seasoned chef and cook.”

My sister Carri

My sister Carri

Fast forward to the end of November and Eat was exactly what we did again and this time brought along my sister Carri and my niece Jaslynne who graced us with her presence after attending a concert the night before…teenagers. Three weeks ago being seated was quick as was this time, but only because we arrived as tables were leaving. It was packed as expected since the food, service and atmosphere is exceptional.


My adorable niece Jaslynne

Jaslynne had the chicken fried steak with two eggs scrambled, country gravy, smashed potatoes and toast, our mother had two eggs over medium with smoked bacon, chive potatoes and toast, while my sister and I enjoyed the DWBLT  (smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato and avocado) minus the  chipotle mayo (I’m allergic to mayo) on toasted sourdough with a pickle and homemade chips. I cut out the pickle and my sister added potato salad. Since I can’t have mayo I poured freshly made ranch dressing and Dijon on my sandwich giving it an extra kick of deliciousness.  My plan is try everything on the menu at least once before summer. I think I’m off to a great start.

DWBLT - smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato  avocado and chipotle mayo

DWBLT:  Smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato avocado and chipotle mayo

Chicken Fried Steak with two eggs scrambled, country gravy, smashed potatoes and toast

Chicken Fried Steak with two eggs scrambled, country gravy, smashed potatoes and toast

two eggs over medium with smoked bacon, chive potatoes and toast

Two eggs over medium with smoked bacon, chive potatoes and toast


Address: 707 Carson Street (at 7th)
Number: 702-534-1515
Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday
8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday

Thank you for reading.

Adrienne xo

Try Something New at Least Once a Month

9 Apr

Chef Kerry Simon (source: Caesars Entertainment)

It’s always good to try something new at least once a month. So when Ryan Slattery reached out to me to write a brief for Caesars Entertainment‘s in-room magazine Vegas Player, I said  why not? I love to write and I miss editorial writing (check out some of my past work on my business website http://2girlsconsulting.com.)  I have a love affair with words, especially when the words involve food.

KGB: Kerry's Gourmet Burgers (source: Caesars Entertainment)

My assignment was to try KGB: Kerry Simon’s Burgers and Shakes at Harrah’s. I called Ryan and he met me for lunch. Keep in mind I try to avoid overindulgence more than twice a month, but  savory comfort food from an Iron Chef is hard to turn down. KGB  is lip-smacking goodness and there is something for even the most finicky eater like myself.

Captain Crunch Shake (source: Caesars Entertainment)

The menu features childhood favorites with a gourmet twist like creamy mac and cheese sticks with white cheddar dipping sauce ($7/$6) along with the unforgettable sloppy Joe updated with braised short ribs, onions and pickles ($13/$12.)  Or build your own handcrafted burger and pair it with a signature shake like the amusing Captain Crunch and smooth Espresso or beloved orange Creamsicle float ($7/$6) and if you are total rewards card member you get a discount hence the two prices.

I took trying something new to heart and ordered the Lamb Burger made with Tzatziki sauce, red onion, lettuce, and roasted red peppers on an onion roll ($15/$14), sweet onion rings ($4.) I am not a fan of lamb. I actually hate lamb unless it’s in a gyro hidden by a mixture of beef, vegetables and seasonings, but I was trying something new. It was good. I ate half and took the rest to my boyfriend James who’s most favorite food on Earth is lamb. Ryan inhaled the Cobb Burger made with cheese, avocado, tomato salsa and red pepper aioli on a sesame brioche bun. We slit an Espresso shake that I sucked down in a matter of minutes it was so good. It would have been even better if it had a shot of vodka in it, however it was the middle of the day.

With so much to choose from, it can become overwhelming. Make it easy and have the decision made for you by asking the server about KGB’s new special burger and shake of the month. For April it’s an Italian Burger made with Pancetta, mozzarella sticks, Parmesan crisp, mixed greens, tomato, balsamic-basil aioli, served with marinara, on an onion roll served with a side of marinara sauce paired with a Tiramisu milkshake. May features a Carne Asada Burger marinated with Cotija cheese, fried tortilla strips, fresh guacamole, lime marinated peppers and onions, roasted tomatillo cilantro mayo, on a jalapeño cheddar bun  along with a Mexican Hot Chocolate Milkshake made with homemade chocolate ice cream flavored with classic Mexican hot chocolate spices and garnished with whipped cream and a cinnamon biscotti.

KGB: Kerry Simon’s Burgers and Shakes
Harrah’s Las Vegas
11am- 6am, Daily

Thank you for reading.
Adrienne xo

%d bloggers like this: